The 7 arenas of societal commitment (and hence political commitment or responsibility) encompass a great diversity of activities and organizations.
Finding arenas where commitment is natural and feels appropriate generates a readiness to accept responsibility (within limits). You may wish to give freely of your time and even your money; or, if you are more socially or politically inclined, you may seek to make a living within one of the arenas.
Where are most people engaged?
The majority of people focus on meeting their needs, which is the highest Group/Level ( ). By contrast work and organizations are focused on and . The analysis in this section of the website should reveal the significance of this hierarchic distance.
Political Players v the Rest of Us
Making a living generally means primarily focusing inwards on ourselves, our work and our family, rather than outwards to wider society. By contrast,must make a conscious determined effort to look outwards and think of others.
|7||Participate in community events; keep abreast of news; meet with volunteers and heads of charities; act as a volunteer; visit citizen-advice centres; talk with relevant experts.
Careers: Service professions and many industries, given that most needs are met by businesses (e.g. clothing, shelter, food, recreation, travel); community and charity organizations.
|Idealistic politicians often get their start working in community service organizations.
They think: “Politics is about improving people’s lives.”
|6||Attend meetings about moral issues; read widely; write up tales of injustice and wickedness; join debates with church representatives and politicians; set an example.
Careers: In the church, government, parts of academic human and social sciences (e.g. history, sociology).
|All politicians have to position themselves securely on moral issues.
Ideological politicians may start here thinking: “Politics is about raising public consciousness.”
|5||Monitor activities and outputs of public interest groups, powerful people and organizations.
Careers: Investigative journalism, news reporter, editor; work on current affairs programs in the media; work in public advocacy.
|Populist politicians start here in campaigning and advocacy work.
Like Cicero, they think:
“The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.”
|4||Read the daily papers; be prepared to re-orient your business; do research, or offer consultancy to capitalize, handle or debunk the issue.||A few enter politics due to being fired up by an issue.
Riding a controversial issue can bring any politician into public prominence—which may help or hinder a career.
|3||Get elected to the unpaid executive of your membership body or of your community association.
Careers:Serve in a membership organization, hold a senior post in the public service, lead a socially-focused not-for-profit association, or work in an industry representative body.
|In some countries, politicians are drawn from the business class.
Such CEOs think:
"Politics is about making decisions."
|2||Know the law relevant to your life and work.
Careers: Become a policeman, lawyer, or probation officer; join the government’s legal department; provide legal aid for the indigent.
|Many politicians have a legal background.|
|1||Join the organization looking after your financial position and social status, then: pay dues, attend meetings, debate priorities, raise awareness of others, participate in lobbying activities, know the agenda.
Careers: Become a politician; work for your membership organization; work for industry umbrella bodies.
|Many politicians start off as representatives of public interest groups within society or labour organizations.
In authoritarian regimes, military and business people often become politicians.
Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 5-July-2014